Monday, May 28, 2012

NASCAR Pick 'Em Matchups and Standings for the Coke 600

Allan- #29 Kevin Harvick
Jason- #11 Denny Hamlin
Jimmie- #27 Paul Menard
Goody Sr.- #14 Tony Stewart
Goody- #48 Jimmie Johnson
Fan Pick- #18 Kyle Busch
Sarah- #16 Greg Biffle
Rudy- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Lucas- #17 Matt Kenseth

1. Allan- 438pts 1 win, 3 top fives, 7 top tens
2. Flo- 437pts 2 wins, 6 top fives, 10 top tens -1pt
3. Jimmie- 409pts 0 wins, 5 top fives, 8 top tens -29pts
4. Goody- 402pts 0 wins, 5 top fives, 8 top tens -36pts
5. Goody Sr- 391pts 2 wins, 4 top fives, 6 top tens -47pts
6. Fan Pick- 385pts 2 win, 4 top fives, 5 top tens -53pts
7. Sarah- 384pts 0 wins, 2 top fives, 5 top tens -54pts
8. Rudy- 355pts 0 wins, 3 top fives, 5 top tens -83pts
9. Lucas- 335pts 0 wins, 2 top fives, 6 top tens -103pts

Randy Wolf a Brewer in 2013?

At the end of the 2012 season, the Milwaukee Brewers will have their hands full.  Besides being worried about what to do with Greinke and Marcum, they also need to figure out the back end of the rotation.  Randy Wolf is in his last season of his 3-year, $33 Million contract he signed in 2009, and Narveson, who will be coming off of a season ending rotator cuff injury, will also be a question mark.

If someone were to ask Melvin or Attanasio about the future, I don't think either one could give you an honest answer.  Attanasio has already mentioned he believes this team can still compete with a few upgrades.  Does he make one or two trades to boost the team in hopes they make the playoffs, or does he use Greinke and Marcum as valuable trade chips before the deadline?  In the end, what they do with those two will ultimately decide the fate of Randy Wolf.

Wolf, who will be 36 at the season's end, was one of the Brewer's most consistent pitchers in 2011. Although he has struggled in a few starts this year, he has still shown some life.  His past has shown that every other year he pitches well (for some of you folks, every other year he pitches poorly).  Last year he posted an impressive 3.69 ERA/1.32 WHIP with 134 strikeouts in 212.1 innings pitched.  Lets not forget, since 2008 he has remained virtually injury free.

The most likely situation-- if Greinke and/or Marcum come back, expect Wolf to be doing the same.  Even on his off years, Wolf is capable of being a strong, back of the rotation starter.  In the situation where the Brewers are not able to keep either Greinke or Marcum, expect them to let Wolf walk.  Even though he will be making $9.5M at the season's end, don't expect him to come much cheaper.  Attanasio has proved he is willing to spend more, if it means winning.  Investing in Wolf expecting him to replace a #1-#3 starter is just silly.  However, as a #4 or #5 starter, it can pay off quickly; especially with Narveson remaining a question mark.

If the above scenario unfolds, expect the Brewers to resign Wolf for 2 years, with a team option for $18M.  Not quite a bargain, but as a #4 it isn't a bad value.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who Should Be The Brewer's #5 Pitcher?

May 23rd, another game, another injury.  For Brewer fans, the injuries at this point can almost be considered comical.  Estrada lines a double down the left-field line and comes up limping at first.  No matter the situation, the Brewers cannot catch a break.

The last few days Brewer fans have been analyzing the bullpen and minor league system to compile a list of potential fillers.  So today begs the question; who will be the Brewers #5 pitcher for the next 3-5 starts?  Let's take a look:

·        Manny Parra - Most likely the option Melvin goes with.  He has shown some promise coming out of the pen this year tallying a 3.70 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 25 strikeouts in only 24.1 innings pitched.  From the surface those numbers are very respectable, even encouraging.  However, the past shows Parra has struggled in a starting role.  Take 2009 for example, in 27 starts he compiled a 11-11 record with an eye sore of an ERA, 6.36.  Even more alarming, he is allowing nearly two runners on-base per inning.  The only thing he has going for him at this moment is big league experience.

·        Michael Fiers - At this time last year I don't think anyone would argue the fact Fiers shouldn't be called up, even Melvin.  Last year, Fiers, was without a doubt, one of the Brewers best minor league pitchers.  In 126 innings, Fiers compiled a very impressive 0.94 WHIP (83 hits, 36 walks) while striking out 132 batters.  Unlike his teammate Peralta, Fiers won't dazzle or blow anyone away with his pitch speed.  He relies on finesse and control to get batters out.  

Even though this year he is struggling to duplicate last year's performance, he still has some        decent numbers. 

·        Wily Peralta - Peralta is currently the top prospect in the Brewers organization.  His last two years have been consistent, and very impressive.  With a plus fastball and curveball, Peralta keeps his hitters guessing.  Last year he had an above average ground-out to air-out ratio of 1.39, to go along with 157 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 150.2 innings.

This year is a different story for Peralta.  I wish I could say in a good way, but unfortunately not.  His numbers this year are way out of the ordinary for Peralta.  He has a compiled a 5.63 ERA,                 1.44 WHIP, and 25 walks in only 48 innings pitched.  About the only thing he has been able to           keep respectable are the opponents' batting average (.249).  

·        Tyler Thornburg - Here is a name that all Brewer fans are starting to hear more and more.  By far, he is putting together one of the better seasons of all our minor league pitchers.  So far in 10 games this year, Thornburg has already put together 6 wins.  Opponents are only hitting .200 while barely maintaining the ability to scrap together a runner per inning.  Quite simply, Thornburg's ability to get batters out is very impressive.

We all know Doug Melvin doesn't like to take risks with his prospects.  Understandable when there isn't a reason to rush them.  However, this year the Brewers need some type of fire, consistency, and fresh blood.  What better way to do this then bring up Thornburg?  Even though I believe he can bring all three of those traits, Doug Melvin simply won't do it.

For whatever reasons, Melvin finds it more important to worry about a prospects service time rather than what he can bring to the big league club.  At 23 years old, Thornburg will be in his upper 20's before we even have to worry about free agency.  I expect Thornburg to be sent to AAA long before he is even considered in Milwaukee.

Fiers is also a strong and interesting candidate for a call-up.  At almost 27 years old, he will be in his 30's before Melvin even has to worry about him becoming a free agent, or expensive for that matter.  His numbers aren't nearly as impressive as last year, but he has the stuff to be effective.

In the end, don't be shocked if you see Parra given the chance to start with Estrada out.  History has shown Melvin likes to play it safe.  Then again, can you call it safe with Parra starting?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

All Star Format?

Ever since Nextel/ Sprint have taken over as the title sponsor of NASCAR premier racing division one thing has been consistent....changing the format of the all star race every single year. If it's not how the segments of the race are broken down it's how the are eligible to take part in this event.

Ever since they strayed away from the old 50 lap, 20 lap, followed by a 10 lap shootout format, they have been trying to chase something unobtainable...perfection. They had tried everything; from a survival of the fastest format, and a format to try to make it like football with 4 quarters of 20 laps segments. All seemed to fail, except the format that came out this year I thought showed a lot of promise.  The format was a 90 lap race having a caution every 20 laps and on the 4th caution all the teams would have to pit with the 4 segment winners leading the way onto pit road. This way it would add the element of the pit crews to the race, but one thing was wrong with this, NASCAR didn't force teams to take tires on the final caution so all it was, was a 25 car stop and go pass through.

Some might think, whats wrong with that? Well if you watched the race you would find out how anticlimactic from how it could of been.  With NASCAR not forcing teams to pit the drivers who won the first 3 segments were in the cat bird seat, they could pit on the 3rd caution take it easy for the last 20 lap segment and be out front of drivers behind who just ran their asses off to try to be the winner of the 4th segment. As I stated before, because of that the last 10 lap shootout was a dud. In an All Star race that had so much exciting side by side racing (for once) throughout the field for the first 80 laps of the event, when they took the restart for the final 10 laps things got spread out very quickly. This was the exact opposite of how an All Star Race should be.

Next year for the All Star Race they need to make another minor change to the race, and that is to require every team to make AT LEAST a two tire pit stop. Therefore actually adding importance of the pit crews and making it more of an equal playing field to set up an exciting 10 lap shootout. If they do this, I think it will be the closest thing to being perfect.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Predictions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup All Star Race

Sprint Showdown
Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2nd: Martin Truex Jr.
Fan Vote: AJ Allmendinger

Sprint All Star Top 5
1. Kyle Busch
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Carl Edwards

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2013 Chevrolet SS

Chevrolet announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. Here is a picture of that new Chevrolet SS that is going to be run in the 2013 Sprint Cup season. This is the only car so far that doesn't seem to be changing much from the 2012 model as far as looks go. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.

  • Sources: Jayski, & Team Chevy PR

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NASCAR Pick 'Em Standings after the Southern 500 at Darlington

1. Allan- 401pts 1 win, 3 top fives, 6 top tens
2. Flo- 394pts 2 wins, 5 top fives, 9 top tens -7pts
3. Jimmie- 380pts 0 wins, 5 top fives, 8 top tens -21pts
4. Goody Sr- 372pts 2 wins, 4 top fives, 6 top tens -29pts
5. Goody- 369pts 0 wins, 5 top fives, 8 top tens -32pts
6. Fan Pick- 343pts 2 win, 3 top fives, 4 top tens -58pts
7. Sarah- 342pts 0 wins, 1 top fives, 4 top tens -59pts
8. Rudy- 317pts 0 wins, 3 top fives, 4 top tens -84pts
9. Lucas- 301pts 0 wins, 2 top fives, 5 top tens -100pts

NASCAR Pick 'Em Matchups for the Southern 500 at Darlington

Allen- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Flo- #20 Joey Logano
Jimmie- #14 Tony Stewart
Goody- #99 Carl Edwards
Goody Sr.- #18 Kyle Busch
Fan Pick- #55 Mark Martin
Sarah- #29 Kevin Harvick
Rudy- #24 Jeff Gordon
Lucas- #11 Denny Hamlin

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Honesty the Best Policy?

On the opening pitch of Sunday nights game Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels beamed Washington Nationals 19 year old rookie sensation Bryce Harper. When asked if Hamels did it on purpose, he said that he did and that it was him welcoming Harper to the Big League. After his explanation he received a 5 day suspension and a lot of grief from the sporting world fan base, and not just for hitting Harper but for actually admitting that he meant to do it.

I find it crazy the double standard that seems to be going on here. First off I can believe after listening to the Dan Patrick Show and hearing their opinion on what they had more of a problem with, either Hamels hitting Harper or actually admitting to it they thought admitting to it was worse. Dan Patrick said that if asked a pitcher should be coy and lie to the media. This seems very odd to me after him and much of the other that care about sports complain when an athlete doesn't admit to wrong doing. One prime example was back when the "anonymous" player for the New York Jets was bashing their head coach Rex Ryan. I know the examples are like comparing apples to oranges but in the end I think players should man up for their actions. Although I may not totally agree for Hamels reasoning for hitting Harper, and that it wasn't the smartest move to avoid suspension, I respect the fact that he was man enough to admit his actions and quite frankly not being chicken shit about it. Which now thinking about it, also reminds me of the Metta World Peace incident a couple weeks ago, where Metta tried to coward away in his actions in his press conference.

The other move that is kind of a double standard that is going on here is the move made by Major League Baseball. They suspended Hamels for 5 day suspension for beaming Harper and admitting it but when Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman retaliated later in the game by hitting Hamels nothing happened, why because Zimmerman did not admit to hitting him on purpose. I think this is a bad move for Bud Selig when he is trying to promote his players to be honest. Selig was very upset after the hearing of Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun steroid hearing that he might be lying and I am not sure what the updates on this are but he said that baseball was going to be further investigating and make sure Braun wasn't lying to get out of his 50 game suspension. It seems like the message that they are sending after the Hamels suspension is that don't be honest for your wrong doings or else. I think the best move would of been to either suspend both pitchers or neither of them, exactly the opposite of what actually happened.

So I have to wonder if the main reason that the backlash from the media and the commissioner was because of the fact that Hamels hit a fan favorite. I wonder if the same outcome from both parties would of happened if this same situation played out if Hamels hit a guy like Barry Bonds, but I guess we will never find that out. Again I think that even if someone doesn't do the right or popular thing, they shouldn't be punished for being honest about it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

NASCAR Pick 'Em Standings after the Aarons 499 at Talladega

1. Allan- 373pts 1 win, 3 top fives, 6 top tens
2. Flo- 360pts 2 wins, 5 top fives, 8 top tens -13pts
3. Jimmie- 339pts 0 wins, 4 top fives, 7 top tens -34pts
4. Goody- 332pts 0 wins, 5 top fives, 7 top tens -41pts
5. Goody Sr- 331pts 2 wins, 3 top fives, 5 top tens -42pts
6. Fan Pick- 319pts 2 win, 3 top fives, 4 top tens -54pts
7. Sarah- 314pts 0 wins, 1 top fives, 4 top tens -59pts
8. Rudy- 308pts 0 wins, 3 top fives, 4 top tens -65pts
9. Lucas- 258pts 0 wins, 1 top fives, 4 top tens -115pts

Sunday, May 6, 2012

NASCAR Pick 'Em Matchups for the Aarons 499 at Talladega

Allan- #16 Greg Biffle
Jimmie- #99 Carl Edwards
Flo- #18 Kyle Busch
Goody- #29 Kevin Harvick
Goody Sr.- #14 Tony Stewart
Fan Pick- #24 Jeff Gordon
Sarah- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Lucas- #48 Jimmie Johnson